Best Friday Player in the NHL
Cala Makar, Colorado Avalanche
No Nathan McKinnon, no problem in the Colorado Avalanche. They were starting to get a lap after a slow start and were clicking all cylinders on Friday night against the expansion at the Seattle Kraken. Leading the way first defender Cal Makar scored 20 minutes of avalanche time, scored two goals, added an assist, scored six shots on target and finished with a three-lift in a 7-3 avalanche win. After starting the season 1-3-0, the avalanche is now 7-2-1 in the last 10 games. Makar is starting to make an appearance with Friday being his fifth multi-point game of the season. He is now averaging more than a point per game this season.
Highlights from Friday in the NHL
It came on a losing bid against the Vancouver Canucks, but Nikolaj Eilers scored tonight’s goal with this stunning solo effort to score his sixth goal of the season.
Kyle Burrows scored his first NHL goal for the Canucks on Friday night.
Makar records the result of a strange rush toward an avalanche.
Three Meals of a Friday in the NHL
Jared Bednar signs two-year contract extension with Colorado Avalanche
Before the Kraken avalanche collapsed, they announced a two-year contract extension for head coach Jared Bednar until the end of the 2023-24 season.
Bednar is in his sixth season as Avalanche’s head coach, and has led the team to the playoffs in four of his first five seasons (each of the past four). The avalanche has reached round two in each of the past three seasons. Expectations for this group are growing every season, and eventually there will be more pressure to take another big step and get closer to the Stanley Cup. We may already be at this point with this team. When that happens, people start sitting on the hot seat when the steps are not being taken. Avalanche is clearly very confident that Bednar is the coach that will lead them to the next step.
Canucks get a much needed win
The Vancouver Canucks needed a win, and they finally got a win against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. They have entered the match in a five-game losing streak, winning only two of their previous eleven matches with only one of those matches winning in regulation. The general manager and coach are in the hot seat (at least in the public eye, even if the team doesn’t agree) and nothing is going right. But thanks to off-season possession goals Oliver Ekman-Larson and Conor Garland, as well as a first NHL goal from Kyle Burrows, they were able to secure a much-needed two points. They still have a long way to go before they can get back to the Pacific Division qualifying race (or the Western Conference Wild Card race) but they have to start somewhere.
The Kraken is struggling and the schedule remains tough
After losing 7-3 to Colorado on Friday night, the Kraken have lost six straight games and seven of their past eight games. They allowed at least four goals in seven of those eight losses, including two games by seven. Goaltending has been a huge problem this season, but Friday night was a complete and all-out no-show by everyone on the list. They allowed multiple goals in power play, a reduced goal, generated just 28 shots on target (most were scored late when the game was already out of reach), and were never competitive against a clearly superior Colorado side. Things won’t get any easier for the next three games when they play Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida. These are three of the best teams in the league after playing another big team on Friday when the avalanche was in town.
Big Saturday story
After opening the season on a 13-game road trip, New Yorkers will finally have a chance to play in front of their fans back home and unlock their new building when they host the Calgary Flames. They’d be a little reductive, but coming home to Long Island in front of their fans would definitely be a big moment. They need it too, going into a four-game losing streak and currently sitting behind every other team in the Metropolitan Division.
Friday NHL Scores
Vancouver Canucks 3, Winnipeg Jets 2
Colorado Avalanche 7, Seattle Kraken 3